17 December 2003 Semiconductor wafer printing simulation by digital apodization of high-resolution actinic photomask images
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Abstract
Aerial images formed by exposure tool simulation microscopes provide valuable information in determining the printability of photomask patterns prior to actual photoresist exposure. Exact simulation of production-grade step-and-scan exposure tools generally requires a complex optical system. This paper describes an accurate aerial imaging simulation technique using a relatively simple actinic, high-resolution inspection microscope incorporating image processing software. A high-resolution aerial image is captured by the inspection tool's CCD camera. The photomask spatial frequency information is multiplied by a digital low-pass apodization filter which preferentially attenuates the higher spatial frequencies. The exact shape of the filter depends upon the imaging and illumination configuration of the exposure tool under simulation, and is adjustable in software. The technique is well-suited to both manual and high-speed automated photomask inspection and defect detection and classification using a single low-cost platform.
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James Jacob, Andrew Merriam, Ken Rebitz, "Semiconductor wafer printing simulation by digital apodization of high-resolution actinic photomask images", Proc. SPIE 5256, 23rd Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, (17 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.518184; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.518184
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